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Quebec Ignores Warnings from Federal Government, Continues to Allow Faster Access to Private Clinics

Country Correspondent: Roosa Tikkanen

For Canadian provinces and territories to receive federal matching dollars, they are required by law to administer medically necessary services to residents without user fees. However, in Quebec, patients are able to pay for quicker access to medical exams at private clinics. Last year, the federal health minister issued a warning to the province, stating that “all of the fees imposed on patients for these services contravene the Canada Health Act,” and that access shouldn’t be faster for those with more money. The minister warned that if Quebec fails to ban access to private diagnostic services, the federal government will cut health transfers to the province starting in 2023. Thus far, the provincial health premier has ignored these warnings, stating that “some people like to have access rapidly to some services. I don’t like to see the federal government telling us how to manage the health-care network.”

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